1 Friday, 15th January, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Since the
7 court deputy is not with us, I will read out the case
8 number. It is case number IT-95-16-T, The Prosecutor
9 against Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko
10 Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir
12 We will now continue, and I hope you don't
13 have any exhibits to tender into evidence because, for
14 the time being, we are without the court deputy.
15 Oh, all right. He is here. Everything is
16 all right.
17 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 WITNESS: ZVONIMIR CILIC (Resumed)
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Cilic. If you agree, we
21 will resume where we left off at the end of the last
22 sitting. You remember that we began to talk about the
23 15th of April, 1993.
24 In the course of your testimony, a video film
25 was shown at the time that Commander Totic was
1 kidnapped and his escort assassinated. Of course, you
2 don't have that video before you now and you didn't
3 participate in the investigation, if there was one, but
4 in view of your position, did you learn anything about
5 the circumstances of that operation?
6 A. Of course, I did not participate in the
7 investigation nor was I on the spot nor did I learn any
8 particular details regarding the investigation except
9 for the fact that the commander of the Jure Francetic
10 Brigade from Zenica was alive. We learnt that as early
11 as the 16th in the afternoon. At the time, I didn't
12 have any additional information about that event.
13 Q. Commander Totic, did he reappear a couple of
14 days later?
15 A. No. I think he appeared after more than a
17 Q. And when he did reappear, did you meet him?
18 A. I met him in Vitez several days later because
19 after his release, he came to Vitez, because a number
20 of the members of the brigade of which he was in
21 command had, under threat of force by the BH army, fled
22 from Zenica to the Lasva Valley, and this meant also to
23 the territory of Vitez municipality.
24 Q. When you met Commander Totic, did he explain
25 to you what had happened?
1 A. Not to me personally, because we knew each
2 other very superficially, but he tried to explain it in
3 a short statement for the viewers of the local TV.
4 Q. What do you remember of those explanations
5 that he gave?
6 A. I don't remember much, but I will tell you
7 what I do remember in brief. Totic said that together
8 with his escort, he had started out from Zenica, as he
9 did every day, to the command of his brigade which was
10 situated in a suburb called Podbrezje. On the road
11 close to his command, a group of armed and masked
12 soldiers intercepted them, stopped their car, dragged
13 him out of the car, and then, with a burst of fire,
14 killed his escort. At the time, he wasn't able to say
15 that a chance passerby was also killed on that
16 occasion. That is as much as I can tell you about that
18 Q. Commander Totic did not give you any
19 explanation why this operation was conducted in
20 particular against him and his escort?
21 A. He didn't tell me nor the local TV programme,
22 but I assume he did give such explanations in the
23 appropriate place. A local media is not such an
24 appropriate place, at least that is my opinion.
25 Q. I understand. The names of the members of
1 the escort of Commander Totic, were they conveyed on
2 television, according to the transcript before
3 yesterday, Ivica Vidovic, Anto Zrnic, Marko and Tihomir
4 Ljubic. Those were the names we received. Do you know
6 A. No, not any one of them.
7 Q. Were they local people, as far as you know,
8 people from the area of Vitez?
9 A. No, not one of them was from the area of
10 Vitez, as far as I know. All four came from the
11 territory of Zenica municipality.
12 Q. Let us now go on to the press conference, if
13 you don't mind, an abstract of which we saw the day
14 before yesterday during your testimony.
15 In the course of that press conference, we
16 saw a young woman reading a list of operations
17 attributed to the Bosnian army, a list clearly
18 carefully prepared, and the film stopped there.
19 Could you specify the time of that press
21 A. Not with precision, I'm not sure whether it
22 was at 11.00 or at 12.00, but either one of those
24 Q. Could you tell us, after this list was read,
25 as we saw on the videotape, who took the floor after
1 that and to say what?
2 A. I'm not quite sure whether the first speaker
3 after that was Colonel Tihomir Blaskic or Mr. Dario
4 Kordic, but I don't think that is so important, which
5 one spoke first, but I do know that both of them spoke.
6 Q. What is important, perhaps, is to know what
7 they said. You were present during that press
9 A. Yes, I was, and, of course, after so much
10 time has gone by, I cannot recall in detail exactly
11 what they said, but I certainly can give you the main
13 Q. Yes, please, do that.
14 A. I shall try to give you a summary which can
15 be said to cover the points made by both. They
16 elaborated on all those events covering the period
17 roughly from the New Year until the 15th of April,
18 1993, indicating the constant and repeated incidents
19 being provoked by members of the BH army, the victims
20 being mostly members of the Croatian Defence Council.
21 They also, and Mr. Dario Kordic in particular,
22 indicated that they had reported to all the competent
23 and relevant institutions about those events,
24 representatives of the political and military field as
25 well as members of the International Community.
1 Mr. Blaskic said, roughly, that the HVO forces were
2 against any kind of conflict but that they would have
3 to defend themselves if necessary. They roughly said,
4 We will certainly not bend down but we will defend
5 ourselves if our integrity in this area is
7 That would roughly be the summary, but,
8 Mr. Prosecutor, please take this with a little
9 reservation because this was too long ago.
10 Q. Could it be said that the general meaning of
11 that press conference, its justification, was to
12 prepare the Croatian community for war?
13 A. That is not how I experienced it, and at the
14 time, I never even dreamt that we were only a couple of
15 hours away from war. There were warnings that there
16 should be a maximum degree of caution and
17 responsibility of each and every individual everywhere,
18 but I did not see it as being the last prior to a
19 bloody war.
20 Allow me to add that the atmosphere was very
21 tolerant, and in some senses, its aim was to calm
22 people down.
23 Q. Do you think that the reading that we heard
24 of the list of aggressive acts allegedly committed by
25 the BH army from the beginning of the year until the
1 15th of April had an appeasing effect on the Croatian
3 A. No, I didn't mean that. What I meant was
4 that the statements made by our most prominent figures
5 in military and civilian life, in my judgment, were not
6 inflammatory, there were no threats, and, of course,
7 those events could not have an appeasing effect, but I
8 must also say that similar enumerations of incidents
9 and crimes committed had been made earlier on, not to
10 such an extent, because these press conferences and
11 these data covered a relatively long period of time, so
12 that necessarily the list of incidents and crimes was
13 far longer than at earlier press conferences.
14 Q. This press conference, was it broadcast live
15 on television?
16 A. No, we didn't have the necessary resources
17 for live transmissions. We were under total
18 information blockade, and our local television was an
19 improvised station as compared to the large information
20 machinery at the disposal of the Muslims in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
22 Q. Under those conditions, could you tell us
23 when this press conference was broadcast on television
24 for the Croatian community?
25 A. At 7.00 p.m. This was the customary and only
1 time that we had on local television for our news
2 programs. On the Vitez radio, at 6.00 p.m.
3 Q. You told us, in the course of your testimony,
4 that towards the end of the afternoon of the 15th of
5 April, you went to Zenica by car to find your daughter
6 there who was studying in that town. If I understood
7 well your statement, but please correct me if I'm
8 wrong, on the road you encountered a certain number of
9 roadblocks. All those roadblocks were either held by
10 the HVO or by the civilian police. You did not
11 encounter, on the road going from Vitez to Zenica, the
12 Bosnian army. Is that correct? Did I understand you
14 A. Not quite. On the road from Vitez to Zenica,
15 there wasn't a single roadblock put up and held by HVO
17 Q. Therefore, these roadblocks were held by the
18 civilian police. I think you also spoke of the HOS
19 having barricades. But the gist of my question is that
20 the Bosnian army was not present on the road until the
21 very entrance into Zenica.
22 You also told us, and again correct me if I'm
23 wrong, that in the town of Zenica itself, you did not
24 witness any major presence of the Bosnian army with the
25 exception of a few trucks passing by.
1 A. On the road, I didn't see anywhere members of
2 the BH army, on the road from Vitez to Zenica. I am
3 referring to the roadblocks. Nor did I see any members
4 of the HVO.
5 At the first roadblock, I saw a civilian
6 policeman belonging to the Vitez police station, the
7 Croatian part of the station; then the second barricade
8 was held by civilian policemen also belonging to the
9 Vitez station, but this time to the Muslim part; and a
10 third roadblock was held only by HOS members; and then
11 came roadblocks manned by policemen with helmets and
12 armed to the teeth. At the time, these were members of
13 the Muslim police in Zenica.
14 Q. When you returned to Vitez, that was the same
16 A. Yes, about 1900 hours, I think I was already
17 back in Vitez.
18 Q. You came back accompanied by your daughter,
19 together with your daughter?
20 A. Yes, I was lucky enough to bring my daughter
21 home. I took her to our apartment, and then I returned
22 to the command.
23 Q. Were you going to report to the commander of
24 what you saw on the road going to Zenica?
25 A. I reported orally in detail to the commander,
1 Mario Cerkez.
2 Q. What was the gist of that report? Was it, as
3 one might think, bearing in mind what you said that you
4 saw, that, in fact, there was very little activity by
5 the Bosnian army in that region?
6 A. In addition to my impressions as a parent and
7 my happiness at having brought back my daughter, I
8 reported everything I said here two days ago, maybe in
9 somewhat greater detail, and what I tried to repeat
10 this morning to you.
11 Q. Mr. Cilic, my question was as follows: What
12 was the meaning of your report? Was it reassuring in
13 the sense that there was a little activity of the
14 Bosnian army in that area from Vitez to Zenica, or, on
15 the contrary, was your report disturbing, alarming?
16 A. I think that after everything I saw and
17 experienced, of course, it couldn't be reassuring. I
18 was particularly surprised by the situation in Zenica.
19 The impression was as if it was 2.00 a.m. rather than
20 4.00 or 5.00 in the afternoon.
21 Zenica is a workers' city and a centre, a
22 large city, relatively speaking, with many students and
23 school children, and it is a city always alive,
24 buzzing, as if in a beehive, and though it was a nice
25 day, the town was literally deserted, even though it
1 was the early afternoon, and that is why I noticed
2 several vehicles of the BH army and far more policemen
3 than is customary, and this time, armed to the teeth
4 with automatic weapons.
5 THE REGISTRAR: 334, Exhibit 334.
6 MR. TERRIER:
7 Q. Mr. Cilic, this document appears to be a
8 military report characterised as strictly confidential,
9 drafted by the Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica, 16th
10 of April. No time is indicated. Anyway, no hour can
11 be read on this document. Nevertheless, it appears
12 that this document relates to the situation such as it
13 was at 6.00 a.m. on the 16th of April. Are you
14 familiar with this document?
15 A. No. I see it for the first time.
16 Q. The situation described on the 16th of April
17 at 6.00, is it a situation that can be considered
18 normal under the circumstances in Bosnia-Herzegovina at
19 the time? The situation was calm, there were no combat
20 operations, the night was quiet and civilians could go
21 to work.
22 A. That would be the conclusion one could draw
23 from this document.
24 Q. Mr. Cilic, I want to show you another
25 document, and we will pass on to another area of your
1 testimony now.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 335.
3 MR. TERRIER:
4 Q. Mr. Cilic, can you identify the heading of
5 this document?
6 A. Yes, yes, I can.
7 Q. Can you tell us which was the authority that
8 drafted this document?
9 A. It was drafted by the Defence Department of
10 Vitez municipality, and as far as I can see it was
11 signed by the leader of that department, that is
12 Marijan Skopljak.
13 Q. It appears to be dated the end of April,
14 April 1993 if we read the date on the left, and it was
15 registered in Travnik, in any event, on the 30th of
16 April, 1993. That can be seen on the first page, the
17 date when it was registered in Travnik.
18 A. Yes, though the number is not quite legible.
19 I think it is the 29th of April, 1993.
20 Q. I should like to draw your attention to page
21 1 and point 3, but I must note that there are two
22 paragraphs 3. This must be an error in the numbering,
23 but I'm interested in the second paragraph number 3.
24 It says in this paragraph that from the 16th of April
25 until the 28th of April, 1993, a total of 498
1 conscripts were mobilised and actively included in the
2 HVO forces, in addition to the regular personnel of the
3 Vitez Brigade. It also says that the majority of
4 conscripts mobilised since the outbreak of hostilities
5 were directly sent to the defence lines.
6 Could you please look through the rest of
7 this document quickly, the following pages of this
8 document, and I draw your attention to numbers 106, 107
9 and 109. What names do you find there?
10 A. Under number 106 is Zoran Kupreskic, 107 is
11 Vlatko Kupreskic, and 109 Mirjan Kupreskic.
12 Q. I now draw your attention to numbers 343 and
13 349. What names do you see there?
14 A. 343 is Drago Josipovic, and 349 Dragan
16 Q. I ask you now to go back to numbers 96, 97,
17 98. On the right-hand side there is a date indicated,
18 a number. What does it mean?
19 A. Are you speaking about number 81?
20 Q. Facing the names, opposite 84 and 88 there is
21 a note. What does it mean?
22 A. I'm afraid I'm not able to decipher this.
23 For me this is something new, I see it for the first
25 Q. This means that there was the co-operation of
1 these persons who are mentioned, that were reported on
2 the 26th of April.
3 A. Yes, one could conclude so because it says
4 "from" before the date, so that is the conclusion that
5 one could draw.
6 Q. On that same page, the last name, the name
7 149, there is a mention there in the area. On the same
8 page, Mr. Usher. 149, there is another name listed
9 there. What name is that?
10 A. This is probably a person who was old enough
11 when he could not be mobilised any more according to
12 the existing laws, and I believe that that's probably
13 what this is about.
14 Q. A little further down, unfortunately I cannot
15 tell you what page number it is because it's a document
16 which bears a number 67, but later on -- below that,
17 actually, it is mentioned -- or two names are mentioned
18 as having a particular assignment. This is on page
20 A. Sir, I don't have page numbers, so could you
21 help me in another way to locate this place?
22 Q. Yes, of course. In the upper right-hand side
23 of each page there is a number.
24 A. There aren't.
25 Q. Yes, indeed. I'm sorry. Excuse me.
1 Now, on this page, which is the English
2 version with the number 29 marked, are there not names
3 mentioned, names of persons who were made active -- put
4 into active service in the HVO to do a particular type
5 of assignment, and who were deployed through other
6 means than the normal armed forces? In this case,
7 involving the logistics.
8 A. There are three such remarks. One is under
9 10. This would be "Work duty," "Special purposes."
10 Also, there is "Work unit" and "Logistics." I assume
11 that these are the duties that you have just
13 Q. Mr. Cilic, can it be said that the names
14 are --
15 A. If you will just give me enough time to go
16 over the entire list, please.
17 Q. Please, go ahead.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, I've noted that
19 not all of your question was put into English in the
20 transcript. Perhaps if you could repeat it.
21 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Mr. President, I will
22 repeat it. I asked the witness whether or not he was
23 in agreement with me to note that the names of the
24 accused do not appear under this particular title
25 "Special purposes."
1 A. Yes, I can answer that question, with your
3 Q. Please, go ahead.
4 A. No name was mentioned of the persons who are
5 sitting here and who stand accused. However, on the
6 basis of this list, I can conclude that these are
7 mostly elderly people or people with certain health
9 Q. With your permission, Mr. Cilic, since the
10 date of birth located across from each name, all of
11 them are of an elderly age, since some of them were
12 born in 1950, '56. So these are persons are not
13 necessarily of an elderly age, perhaps given their
14 state of health, but consequently, Mr. Cilic, I would
15 have to conclude, from this document that the accused
16 who we have listed earlier were all located on the date
17 of April 1993 in a mobilised state and on active
18 members of the HVO on the 16th of April.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Ms. Glumac, do you have an
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I would
22 just like to point out that the Prosecutor is showing
23 the witness this list. However, the fact is that in
24 the first part it states that this is a period of
25 between 16 and 28th of April when 498 persons were
1 mobilised, so this in itself prevents this witness to
2 conclude that all these persons were mobilised on the
3 16th of April, because that is something that is
4 mentioned in the preamble of this document, and I think
5 that this is an improper way of asking this question,
6 because it is contrary to what is stated in the text of
7 this document.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: No, Madam, I'm not in
9 agreement with you at all, because the Prosecutor,
10 Mr. Terrier, has indeed asked questions with regard to
11 the names on the list in relation to which the list
12 specifies that they were mobilised from the 16th of
13 April. So he's asking a question based on a
14 logical deduction from this. I believe the question
15 is admissible and Mr. Terrier is right to ask it.
16 I would now request that the witness answer
17 that question.
18 MR. TERRIER: Clearly, Mr. President, it's
19 the Tribunal that will have to ascertain the weight of
20 this document, but I will ask for the witness to give
21 his point of view on this document, the document he has
22 before him now.
23 Q. Can you not tell us whether or not the
24 accused, whose names were already given, are all listed
25 under the date of the 16th of April, 1993 shown as
1 having been mobilised in active service of the HVO
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Before the witness answers, I
4 believe there is an objection from Counsel Par.
5 MR. PAR: Mr. President, I believe that the
6 question asked by the Prosecution is a leading
7 question. It suggests the 16th of April. I think that
8 we need to determine on which dates these persons who
9 are on the list were mobilised. So I second the
10 objection by Madam Slokovic-Glumac, because the
11 mobilisation covers the period between 16th and 28th of
12 April. So my objection is that the question should not
13 be whether they were also mobilised on the 16th but
14 when these persons were mobilised, on what date.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: The question that the
16 Prosecutor has asked is not whether the accused were
17 mobilised on the 16th, because obviously the witness
18 cannot know this, but it's based on this document. In
19 any case the objection cannot be sustained, although I do
20 not lend too much weight to this, because as the
21 Prosecutor says, it is up to the Court to read the
22 document and to give the proper deductions that it may
23 give and the weight that is necessary.
24 Mr. Radovic?
25 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, the witnesses
1 should testify to what they know, not what their
2 opinions of certain documents may be, so that would be
3 the proper way of examining them. So if we asked them
4 such questions it would be -- it is not what is
5 pertinent to their testimony. However, let me draw
6 your attention to a fact which is especially
7 significant in this document, and which is disregarded
8 by the Prosecutor when examining the witness and has
9 not asked this witness any questions of.
10 In this document, it is stated explicitly
11 that the military personnel mobilised was -- were used
12 as replacement after the first attack. In other words,
13 that they were gradually brought in as replacement --
14 as a reserve. And if we interpret this correctly, that
15 means that these persons were introduced in the
16 frontlines only after the first attack and when the
17 first professional HVO soldiers were replaced.
18 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, Mr. Radovic just
19 dictated his statement to the witness. I would like,
20 nonetheless, with your permission, to ask a question to
21 this witness in regards to this document, which I
22 believe has a certain amount of importance with regards
23 to this trial.
24 Q. Mr. Cilic, you are a very informed person
25 about the military situation. Does this document not
1 signify that on the 16th of April, in any case, until
2 the 20th of April, that the persons who we have named
3 and the persons accused in the context of this trial
4 were indeed mobilised in active service of the HVO
6 A. I can confirm only, in other words,
7 affirmatively only to part of your question. I cannot
8 tell you that they were all mobilised on the 16th but
9 that they were all active until the 28th of April.
10 Q. Not indicated in the later part of this
11 document that most of these persons mobilised since the
12 start of the hostilities were sent to the first line of
13 defence. It's on the same page, Mr. Cilic, just later
14 on on that same page of the text.
15 A. Yes, up until that date, and one could
16 conclude that they were a replacement of the HVO
17 soldiers who had been on the frontlines up until that
19 Q. Thank you. I have finished with this
20 document. I would like now to address another issue of
21 your testimony.
22 You stated to us on Wednesday that you
23 learned what occurred in Ahmici three days later and
24 that what you had learned shocked you a great deal and
25 that you spoke about what happened in Ahmici as being a
1 crime. This is the word you used, and this is found in
2 the transcript.
3 I would like for you to tell us what type of
4 information you received which led you to think that a
5 crime had been committed in Ahmici.
6 A. I believe that on the third or fourth day, a
7 number of the Muslims who were killed from Ahmici were
8 exchanged, which was covered by our local television.
9 I also believe that on one of these days, I saw a brief
10 report -- and I'm not sure whether this was on CNN or
11 BBC, but it was an international television outlet --
12 and it dispelled any doubts that there had been a crime
13 committed in Ahmici.
14 Q. Were you in possession of other information
15 apart from those which were given by television or
16 radio? Would you yourself be in possession of
17 information? Did this information contain other facts
18 than those?
19 A. Do you mean specifically Ahmici or the entire
20 Vitez municipality area, because crimes were
21 committed ...
22 Q. Right now, I'm referring to the crimes which
23 you refer to as having been committed in Ahmici in
25 A. I really did not have more details. I could
1 not have had more details because immediately after
2 that horrible event, this area was completely blocked
3 by the UNPROFOR units of the British battalion, so it
4 was impossible to go there and record any videotape or
5 gather any additional information. Only some
6 international television outlets were allowed to do so,
7 and even they selectively.
8 Q. If I understood you correctly, you stated
9 that the British battalion, located in Vitez, blocked
10 the road leading to Ahmici.
11 A. Yes. My information was that as a member of
12 the Croatian Defence Council, and this also included
13 staff of the local radio and television stations, were
14 not allowed into Ahmici; in other words, we had no
15 access there.
16 Q. You were very well-informed, were you not, of
17 the military operations on the 16th of April and the
18 days that followed?
19 A. I don't know how much information I did have
20 at that time, but obviously I did know certain things.
21 Of course. I had to.
22 Q. Can it be said that you were directly
23 involved in this military operation?
24 A. Fortunately, no, not at all.
25 Q. Mr. Cilic, I would like to submit to you
1 another document.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 336.
3 MR. TERRIER:
4 Q. Mr. Cilic, are you indeed the person who
5 signed this report?
6 A. Yes, I am.
7 Q. You mention, as a duty officer, you signed
8 this document --
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, my
10 apologies. One moment, please. We have great
11 difficulty reading the Croatian version. Could the
12 witness please be given more time, because it is hardly
13 legible at all? Thank you.
14 MR. TERRIER:
15 Q. Did you indeed sign this document as the duty
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This document is dated the 17th of April at
19 6.00 a.m. Were you indeed the duty officer at that
20 time, and if so, at what time and when did you begin
21 this service?
22 A. I don't think that I would have recalled it
23 had you not given me this document, but you can
24 conclude from this that I was the duty officer during
25 the 17th; in other words, on the night between the 16th
1 and the 17th.
2 Q. Is it not the duty of a duty officer, when he
3 takes his office, to be informed of the situation on
4 the ground and to gather all available information?
5 A. On this particular night, the entire command
6 staff of the Viteska Brigade was in the headquarters,
7 and I only drafted this report but, of course, I do not
8 deny it because I signed it. However, it is easy to
9 conclude from this report that it was drafted based on
10 the information and data received during the night at
11 the headquarters, and this report is a sum of all the
12 pieces of information which myself and the other staff,
13 command staff, received in the course of that night.
14 Q. Mr. Cilic, since it appears from this
15 document that you were very directly implicated in this
16 military operation, I am going to ask you if you did
17 not receive some intelligence about what had happened
18 in Ahmici through those means.
19 A. I could not receive any information because I
20 was a member of the Viteska Brigade command which had
21 no activities, ongoing activities, in Ahmici on that
23 Q. What about other Croatian officials apart
24 from you that said that a crime had been committed in
25 Ahmici? Do you recall that, that anyone else said
2 A. I would not like to speak on behalf of
3 others, but I can tell you that no man of reason could
4 have described that in any other way.
5 Q. Do you recall a Croatian official from the
6 region publicly identifying the perpetrators of those
8 A. I do not recall anyone doing that.
9 Q. I'm not talking about names of individuals
10 but military units.
11 A. Regarding this event, this crime in Ahmici,
12 for a long time and to this day, there has been a great
13 deal of speculation and various rumours have been
14 circulating about this crime, so that to tell you quite
15 frankly, I wouldn't like to get involved in those
16 speculations. I simply had no information that I could
17 claim was correct as to who had committed the crime in
18 Ahmici. All that I can explicitly say is that it was
19 not committed by members of the Vitez Brigade.
20 Q. Going back to this document that you signed
21 as duty officer on the 17th of April at 6.00 a.m., and
22 I draw your attention to the third paragraph. Have you
23 had time to read it in the original version?
24 A. Are you referring to this paragraph referring
25 to Grbavica and the Mujahedins?
1 Q. No, where reference is made to Rovna,
2 Santici, and Ahmici, that paragraph. Santici and
3 Ahmici are, in fact, underlined. It is the third
4 paragraph. Yes? Have you had time to read it? Have
5 you read it?
6 A. I have now, though it is very difficult to
8 Q. Nonetheless, could we not conclude from this
9 paragraph, of which you are the author, that, in the
10 course of the night, that is the night that preceded
11 the writing of this report, this means the night
12 between the 16th and the 17th of April, information
13 about the regrouping of Muslim forces from which you
14 conclude that those forces are going to make an attempt
15 to break through from Vrhovine in the direction of
16 Santici and Ahmici? Should we not conclude from that,
17 and I'm asking your opinion as the author of this
18 document, that at the time it was written, the 17th of
19 April at 6.00 in the morning, there was no conflict yet
20 in the region of Ahmici and Santici for control of the
21 Vitez-Busovaca road?
22 A. The crime committed in Ahmici was committed
23 on the 16th, so that we cannot say that there was no
24 fighting in Ahmici until then. And the terminology
25 used here is quite alien to me. But I told you that
1 all of us members of the command were in the
2 headquarters that night, and it was not a question of a
3 single officer on duty, regardless of the fact that I
4 signed this document, but I am not trying to avoid
5 responsibility for this report. But the professional
6 and competent people, far more competent people for
7 military affairs, participated in its drafting, more
8 competent than I was then and than I am now.
9 Q. Mr. Cilic, allow me to note nevertheless that
10 there is a difference between combat and a crime, on
11 the one hand; and that, on the other, you are a
12 journalist by profession, a specialist in information
13 and you are familiar with language, and you are also
14 perfectly informed of the military situation as you
15 were an officer on duty. Therefore, it seems to me
16 that what you wrote has a meaning, that what you wrote
17 was based on information that you had collected and
18 certainly verified, and the date and hour when you
19 wrote this report, judging from this report, it would
20 appear that no military conflict had occurred in the
21 region of Santici or Ahmici for the control of the
22 Vitez-Busovaca road.
23 A. There were battles ongoing all the time of
24 greater or lesser intensity, and one couldn't say that
25 there were any number of hours when there was no
1 fighting in this area. Here reference is made to
2 regrouping of larger forces, which was a threat to the
3 HVO, and the threat existed of intercepting
4 communications which were of vital importance for the
5 population of the Lasva Valley.
6 Q. Mr. Cilic, since you were the author of this
7 report, and perhaps other reports of a similar kind,
8 and this report has a reference which is similar to the
9 reference found on documents already admitted into
10 evidence and conveyed during your testimony, you are
11 probably familiar with these administrative matters, so
12 could you explain to us, what is the significance of
13 this reference number, referring to this document
14 again, the number that can be found at the top of the
15 page on your document? In this case, the number is
17 A. In my statement -- or, actually, during the
18 examination-in-chief, I said that I am not familiar
19 with the methodology of registering documents, but the
20 date here is quite clear and the hour is quite clear,
21 so I think there can be no dilemmas in that regard.
22 Q. I am not doubting the authenticity of this
23 document, I was just asking whether you could explain
24 how these numbers were made and what significance they
25 have. Is there a reference to the department? Is
1 there a reference to chronology? Was there a sequence,
2 an order, in which various documents were drafted and
3 how these numbers were attached, affixed? If you don't
4 know, you don't know, Mr. Cilic.
5 A. I really do not know the answer to that
6 question. There is no reason why I wouldn't tell you,
7 but I just don't know.
8 Q. Fine. I should now like to show the witness
9 document D39/2.
10 Mr. Cilic, this is a document that you have
11 seen because it was admitted into evidence during your
12 examination-in-chief. I should like to draw your
13 attention to the name Livancic, Zeljo. The person has
14 died. He was a member of the Vitez Brigade. Did you
15 know when this person was killed and under what
16 circumstances, or how the person died?
17 A. I don't know when the person died. I think
18 even that I put a question mark as to whether he, in
19 fact, was a member of the Vitez Brigade.
20 Q. I am going to show you another document
21 referring to the same issue, that is, the victims of
22 the conflict that were engaged as members of the HVO.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 337.
24 MR. TERRIER:
25 Q. Mr. Cilic, referring to the Croatian version,
1 can you tell us whether you knew which authority
2 drafted this document?
3 A. It is not difficult to gather from the
4 heading. It is clear that the document was issued by
5 the Defence office or department of Vitez municipality.
6 Q. Would you agree with me in saying that this
7 document contains a list of members of the HVO who were
8 killed in the course of the conflict?
9 A. I must make a reservation here because I
10 think you're overestimating my ability to confirm all
11 these names and dates because -- out of respect for you
12 and their Honours, I do not wish to claim "Yes" or
13 "No." I really do not have a computer in my brain, so
14 I can't give you a very specific answer. But, at the
15 same time, I wouldn't call in doubt this list.
16 Q. Mr. Cilic, it goes without saying that I'm
17 not asking you to confirm whether all the information
18 contained in this report is authentic or not. That
19 would not be serious on my part. So please feel at
20 ease. I am just referring to your experience, your
21 professional experience from the period.
22 You identified the body or the authority
23 issuing this document. I would just like us to look at
24 it together and review some aspects of it, and I would
25 like you to tell me, because I am looking at the
1 English version, whether you agree that on the
2 left-hand side there is a number, then there's a name,
3 then the year of birth of that person, then the date of
4 that person's death, then the place of death, then the
5 address, his residence before death, then the place,
6 sometimes the date of burial, and in some cases a
7 comment regarding the person or the circumstances under
8 which he was killed.
9 I draw your attention, and it may be rather
10 sensitive to refer to numbers, but on page 3 there's a
11 name figuring opposite the number 160. Would you agree
12 with me in saying that this name is the name of
13 Livancic, father's name Jozo, first name Zeljo?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you agree with me in saying that
16 according to this document, that person died on the
17 18th of April, 1993 at Kuber and came originally from
19 A. Though the date appears to have been
20 corrected, but I think it is legible as 18th of April.
21 Q. I don't see that it has been corrected. It
22 was underlined in the original, and we can still see
23 traces of the underlining on the copy. This document
24 was submitted by the Defence of Colonel Blaskic in the
25 Blaskic case.
1 I now wish to draw your attention to page 8
2 of this same document. Look at number 413 and 414, and
3 we'll see two names there. According to this document,
4 both of these persons died on the 18th of April, 1993
5 in Kuber, both of them came from Santici. Are we in
7 A. A minor correction. They didn't die, these
8 persons are missing and they have never been traced.
9 Q. Can one conclude, Mr. Cilic, from this
10 document that a conflict did indeed occur in Kuber but
11 on the 18th of April, 1993?
12 A. At Kuber, and this is something I referred to
13 in my testimony, Kuber was one of the most important
14 and dominant features in the area, and it dominates
15 over Zenica, Busovaca and Vitez. And the first
16 conflict and the first wounding of Croatian soldiers at
17 Kuber were recorded on the 15th of April, 1993 in the
18 afternoon hours, in the early afternoon.
19 At the time already, the BH army, in an armed
20 attack, provoked a serious incident and wounded two
21 soldiers. I'm not sure, but I think one of them died
22 later, but this is not something I can claim with
24 I must also say that already on the first day
25 of the conflict, when the conflict escalated on the
1 16th, the Muslim forces captured the peak of Kuber,
2 which had been held until then mostly by units from
3 Busovaca and also by some smaller units from Vitez.
4 They also captured another important feature, Brdo, in
5 the north the municipality, and chased away from there
6 the Croatian inhabitants and set light to Croatian
8 If we add to this that on the same day, a
9 very important -- a strategically important village,
10 the village of Poculica, was captured by Muslim forces
11 where several civilians were killed and dozens of
12 Croatian houses burnt. By the 16th they had gained
13 control of the most dominant features in the north of
14 Vitez municipality. So it can be said that already on
15 that day the Lasva River Valley, or, rather, the
16 territory of Vitez municipality was at close reach.
17 Q. Mr. Cilic, under those conditions would you
18 say -- you may believe me or not, but the document is
19 at the disposal of the Judges and each one of the
20 attorneys. In this document we cannot find a single
21 victim killed on the 15th or the 16th of April at
22 Kuber. On the other hand, there is mention of three
23 persons who fell as victims of a conflict on the 18th
24 at Kuber. How is it possible that if we look at all
25 the victims of the 16th of April we find three names?
1 No one, no member of the HVO, was killed during
2 conflicts, if there were conflicts, in Ahmici or at
4 Could we not think, in view of the
5 information appearing in this document and you
6 identified the origins of, that what happened on the
7 15th or the 16th of April, that is the Thursday or
8 Friday, in fact happened on Sunday or Monday, the 18th
9 or 19th of April?
10 A. According to information that I have, the two
11 persons that you have referred to, I think it was Grgic
12 and Livancic, these two disappeared on the 16th.
13 However, their disappearance was reported on the 18th,
14 and then that day was registered as the day when they
15 were registered as missing.
16 You must understand that in those
17 circumstances of the escalation of the war, the
18 information reaching these institutions and other
19 organisations were not always correct nor timely, and
20 there are certainly a number of errors here which it
21 will take time to correct.
22 Q. I have almost finished. I should like to
23 touch upon another area of your testimony.
24 You spoke of your meeting with
25 Dr. Mujezinovic. Dr. Mujezinovic was a witness at The
1 Hague Tribunal within two proceedings, the case against
2 Tihomir Blaskic and the case against Anto Furundzija.
3 In both cases, he described this meeting with Mario
4 Cerkez, of which you were an eyewitness, and it is in
5 this connection that I should like to hear your opinion
6 and ask you to refer to your memories. In both cases
7 Dr. Mujezinovic did not describe the same facts as you
8 did. With your permission, allow me to summarise his
9 testimony and to underline the main points of his
11 According to Dr. Mujezinovic, the following
12 happened: On Monday, the 19th of April, 1993, very
13 early in the morning he was in the hospital healing the
14 wounded and the sick that he was responsible for, and
15 he was taken into custody by HVO soldiers. He was
16 taken to the cinema hall that you mentioned, and taken
17 before Mario Cerkez. You were present when he
18 appeared, if I may call it that, this appearance of
19 Dr. Mujezinovic. He was present, you were present,
20 together with other people belonging to the HVO. You
21 were in uniform. You were carrying the HVO insignia.
22 Is that correct up to correct up to this point?
23 What was the meaning of this interview
24 between Dr. Mujezinovic with Mario Cerkez? According
25 to Dr. Mujezinovic, Mario Cerkez said the following:
1 He asked Dr. Mujezinovic, "Have you heard talk about
2 Ahmici?" on the 19th, Monday the 19th. The crime in
3 Ahmici had occurred the previous Friday. "Have you
4 heard talk about Ahmici?" Dr. Mujezinovic answered
5 yes, that he actually knew what had happened. At least
6 that he had some information as to what had happened.
7 At that point Mario Cerkez said, "You must do what we
8 are telling you to do."
9 Then Mario Cerkez asked Dr. Mujezinovic to
10 call a certain number of his acquaintances, especially
11 Muslim officials, to tell them that if the Bosnian army
12 advanced in the direction of Vitez, they must know that
13 he, Mario Cerkez, and the HVO has 2.223 captured
14 Muslims, mostly women and children, and that he would
15 kill them all. Is this correct? Did Mario Cerkez say
16 this to Dr. Mujezinovic in your presence?
17 A. I didn't -- I was not present when such a
18 conversation took place. Mario did not say that to
19 Dr. Mujezinovic. And at the beginning of your summary
20 regarding the arrival of Dr. Muhamed to the command
21 was, in fact, different, because I participated. He
22 was not brought in from the health centre --
23 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Cilic. You can't say at
24 the same time that you were not present during this
25 conversation and say at the same time that Mario Cerkez
1 did not say that. Either you were present and you know
2 what was said, or you were not present and you don't
3 know what was said.
4 A. I said that I was not present at a meeting
5 where such words were uttered. Maybe there was another
6 meeting, another encounter, but I know very well and in
7 detail what happened, because I stated clearly that
8 Muhamed is a friend of mine, and that I undertook this
9 gesture towards Muhamed and that's why I remember very
10 well each and every detail. Therefore, I appeal to you
11 to hear me out when I say that Dr. Muhamed was not
12 brought to Mario Cerkez from the health centre. This
13 may have been another occasion when he was taken into
15 He was, in fact, brought from the cinema hall
16 where he had already been all day in detention. And
17 upon my insistence twice with Mario, Mario agreed that
18 I bring Dr. Mujezinovic from that detention area to see
19 him, and then to take him home, and then the next day
20 Muhamed went to work in the health centre.
21 So that I appeal to you, Mr. Prosecutor, not
22 to get the impression that I'm trying to avoid an
23 answer to your question, but I'm just saying that there
24 may have been another interview between Mario and
25 Dr. Mujezinovic which I did not attend, because such
1 threats and such wording was not used by Mario when I
2 was present and when he was talking to
3 Dr. Mujezinovic.
4 Q. I was just referring to the statements made
5 twice in this Tribunal by Dr. Mujezinovic, according to
6 which these meetings were held in your presence and the
7 presence of other persons whom he mentions, whose names
8 he mentions, and that you were wearing a uniform with
9 HVO insignia.
10 Dr. Mujezinovic continues his testimony as
11 follows: Mario Cerkez asked Dr. Mujezinovic to make
12 contact with various Muslim officials, to inform them
13 of this threat to kill all the hostages, if we can call
14 them that, and asks you, Mr. Cilic, to actually conduct
15 these negotiations, which you did.
16 Dr. Mujezinovic contacted various Muslim
17 officials, conveying to them the threat made by Mario
18 Cerkez to kill the hostages, and Mr. Mujezinovic,
19 accompanied by you yourself, had to return to the
20 detention centre, we're still talking about Monday, the
21 19th of April, to form a group of Muslims who would be
22 asked to negotiate, if we can call these negotiations,
23 with the HVO authorities.
24 At the time there were about 300 detainees in
25 the cinema hall; is that correct? If anything I'm
1 saying is incorrect, please say so.
2 A. Thank you very much. I was just going to ask
3 you, if I may, to convey my impressions of what
5 In my presence, and I brought Dr. Mujezinovic
6 from the cinema hall to the command of the Vitez
7 Brigade, that means only a floor above. Dr. Muhamed
8 shook hands very cordially with the commander of the
9 Vitez Brigade, Mario Cerkez. He had a strong drink
10 with Mario. I did not have a drink because I do -- I
11 abstain from taking alcohol. He also had a cup of
12 coffee. They discussed a report broadcast by
13 television Sarajevo on that day, that is that a
14 prominent physician, a specialist, a prominent citizen
15 and a senior official of the SDA, Dr. Muhamed
16 Mujezinovic, had been killed in Vitez that day. He was
17 not aware of this report.
18 There was no reference in my presence to
19 Ahmici, and I was there all the time throughout that
20 interview, from the time Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic came
21 to the command until he left to go home, and not to go
22 back into detention.
23 The officials of the political authorities in
24 Vitez and Mario Cerkez asked Dr. Muhamed, bearing in
25 mind his prestige in political circles, as well as in
1 military circles and especially among the ordinary
2 citizens, that he use his influence to affect a
3 cessation of shelling of inhabited areas and especially
4 the city centre. It was said that there was a threat,
5 a danger, that some of the people who had fled from
6 Zenica and whose houses had been burned, who had lost
7 their closest relatives, could provoke a very serious
8 incident, because in two or three locations large
9 groups of Muslims were being held in detention, but
10 under no circumstances was it said that anybody would
11 intentionally kill people if they didn't see the
12 shelling. This is something I claim explicitly under
13 full moral and material responsibility in this
14 honourable Tribunal.
15 MR. TERRIER: I understand.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, do you have many
17 more questions?
18 MR. TERRIER: No, not many. Another five
20 Q. So you said that you were present, but Mario
21 Cerkez did not make the threats that Dr. Mujezinovic
22 reports. Dr. Mujezinovic also said, and I should like
23 to hear your opinion, this is perhaps a little far
24 removed from our subject, that there were 300 Muslims
25 detained in the cinema under conditions which he found
1 to be extremely difficult. That is, it was cold there
2 and many of the people were sick. He said that he made
3 a list of 20 persons that needed to be released
4 immediately in view of their state of health.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Objection on the part of
6 Ms. Slokovic-Glumac.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, we are
8 having a bit of -- some difficulty following the
9 Prosecutor. He's using a testimony from another case,
10 and he's quoting parts and reading, so it is very
11 difficult to follow because we are not familiar with
12 the totality of that statement. So we're finding it
13 difficult to follow. In fact, we were not told that
14 the testimony of another witness would be used from
15 another case in such detail. So I think it is
16 difficult for us to follow and for the witness in
17 particular. So I object to this method of
19 I apologise. The witness has already -- the
20 witness has already recounted in detail his encounter
21 with Dr. Mujezinovic, so this is actually repetition
22 and reference to a testimony that we -- that is not at
23 our disposal. Thank you. That is not available to
25 JUDGE CASSESE: It is our judgment that
1 Ms. Slokovic-Glumac is right. The Defence was not able
2 to have the text of this testimony of Dr. Mujezinovic
3 in another case. But if you intend to continue along
4 this line of questioning, then the Defence should have
5 the relevant testimony. Are you insisting on this
6 point or could you perhaps conclude with your
8 MR. TERRIER: The Prosecution finds itself in
9 the following situation: In the course of his
10 testimony, Mr. Cilic recounted an encounter with
11 Dr. Mujezinovic, a meeting which the Prosecution
12 considers to be very important for the situation at the
13 time. Dr. Mujezinovic, on the other hand, twice in two
14 different trials, recounted the same event but in a
15 different way, and I'm referring to one of the
16 statements he made, the one he made in the trial of
17 Dr. Blaskic.
18 Perhaps we can suspend for a few minutes and
19 I will communicate to the Defence this statement so
20 that the rights of the Defence are fully observed.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We're going to suspend
22 now for 30 minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.42 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 338.
1 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, we are now
2 looking at a transcript of testimony given by
3 Dr. Mujezinovic on the 20th of August --
4 MR. RADOVIC: Sorry.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please go ahead.
6 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we only have
7 just received the transcript this very moment, that is,
8 the statement of Dr. Mujezinovic. In order to be able
9 to follow the questions, we at least need to be able to
10 read through this document; otherwise, it's as if we
11 had never received it.
12 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I hope to be able to go
13 over it very quickly. Mr. President, I indicated to
14 Defence counsel that the passages of interest to us
15 here are the following: From line 22 on page of 164 in
16 which Dr. Mujezinovic relates what happened on Monday,
17 the 19th of April; and from page 1.706, line 8, here he
18 relates what Mr. Mario Cerkez told him in the presence
19 of Mr. Cilic. The effective presence of Mr. Cilic is
20 mentioned by Dr. Mujezinovic on 1.705, on line 17.
21 Therefore, this will enable Defence counsel to be able
22 to quickly take knowledge of this document.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well. Let us now give
24 Defence counsel some time, and in the meantime, has the
25 witness received the text and is it in English?
1 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Mr. President, it is in
2 English. As you know, we do not have it in Croatian.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Therefore, I believe you
4 should read the relevant passage so that it can be
5 translated into Croatian.
6 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, unless, of
7 course, you do so, I have no intention of coming back
8 to what we have already discussed, that is to say, what
9 Mr. Mario Cerkez stated in the presence or outside of
10 the presence of the witness, according to his own
11 memory. The witness does not confirm the statements
12 made by Dr. Mujezinovic. I do not intend on insisting,
13 unless, of course, you insist that I come back to this
14 issue, but I simply wish to go further on in the
15 testimony about this meeting with Mr. Cilic and
16 Dr. Mujezinovic and raise the question of the Muslim
17 prisoners who were located in the movie hall. This
18 question was raised from page 1.709 of the transcript.
19 For the attention of Mr. Cilic and with your
20 permission, Mr. President, while the Defence counsel
21 are taking cognisance of this transcript, I would
22 perhaps like to summarise what Dr. Mujezinovic stated
23 under your own supervision, under the supervision of
24 Your Honours, and also the Defence counsel here
1 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, Mr. Cilic, states that they
2 went into the basement of this movie hall, and there
3 discovered that at a location which was used to
4 store coal, there was a large number of persons
5 detained. He lists a number of 300 persons on page
6 1.710, on line 14. He states that among these 300
7 persons who were located there on the 19th of April and
8 detained in that location, there were a number of sick
9 persons, and these persons were chronically ill.
10 Dr. Mujezinovic states that he made a list of these ill
11 persons, and he states in the transcript on page 1.710,
12 on line 20, that when he knew that you were going to
13 work together -- since he knew you were working as a
14 social worker, he gave you a list of the 20 chronic
15 patients for them to be freed. He states he does not
16 know whether that was done.
17 And the question is the following: Do you
18 recall Dr. Mujezinovic drafted a list of 20 persons who
19 were ill and in detention for whom he recommended their
20 release, and do you recall this list?
21 A. I know that Dr. Mujezinovic gave a list. In
22 fact, he asked of Mr. Mario Cerkez to allow him to
23 compile this list. Then he compiled it and handed it
24 to Mr. Cerkez. I was present when he compiled it and
25 gave it to Mr. Cerkez. I was present there. So he
1 gave it to me. I knew most of the people who were
2 mentioned there.
3 Q. So it was not you directly that -- rather, it
4 was not Dr. Mujezinovic who gave this list directly to
5 you but, rather, to Mario Cerkez; is that what you're
7 A. Yes, to the commander, Mario Cerkez.
8 Q. Were these persons released?
9 A. As far as I can recall, the following
10 morning, a number of them were released. For a number
11 of them, the physician specialists were brought to see
12 them from the health centre, and additional ones were
13 also examined in the Vitez cinema hall, and I believe
14 that three or four remained detained and were not
16 Q. I see that your memory is different than that
17 of Dr. Mujezinovic. I would like to then move on
18 forward because, otherwise, we are on the periphery of
19 the issue at trial.
20 I would like for you to confirm for me, or
21 for you to deny, what was stated in the statement of
22 Dr. Mujezinovic in which he states -- first of all, his
23 statement is located on page 1.713, the line from the
24 bottom of the page, third-from-the-last line on the
25 page, line 23.
1 Here he states that the following day he was
2 detained, on the night of the -- from the 19th to the
3 20th, that is to say, from Monday to Tuesday, and that
4 the following day he was presented to Ivan Santic and
5 Pero Skopljak. Ivan Santic and Pero Skopljak, both of
6 these men, repeated the threat that was made by the
7 HVO, that is, that all of the hostages would be killed
8 if the Muslims were to advance. They also asked
9 Dr. Mujezinovic to sign a joint document which
10 Dr. Mujezinovic agreed to sign on the date which was --
11 that day, that is to say, the 20th of April, 1993.
12 Does your information confirm the statement
13 made by Dr. Mujezinovic?
14 A. At a meeting of the most prominent Muslims in
15 Vitez which were detained in the cinema hall in Vitez,
16 I remember several of those present: Fuad Kaknjo,
17 president of the executive committee who was in the
18 joint government; and then Muazem Gerim, who was a
19 prominent citizen and business person; Nuraga
20 Mulahalilovic, who was the director of the high school
21 centre; Kadir Dzidic, who was also with the high school
22 centre and he was the brother of Sefkija Dzidic who was
23 the commander of the Territorial Defence; another
24 prominent citizen, Batija Sivro, who is an engineer;
25 and Dr. Mujezinovic was also present, and he had not
1 been detained at that time anymore. They were all
2 present, and they asked for a meeting with Pero
3 Skopljak and Ivica Santic. I mediated in this. And in
4 principle, I agreed with Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak
5 to hold this meeting. I'm not exactly sure of its
6 time, but I believe it was around 2200 hours because
7 then they thought that they would be able to make the
8 meeting, which was to be held in an office in the
9 Croatian centre. The Muslims whom I just mentioned I
10 personally called, including Dr. Muhamed.
11 We sat in this office, and I had no official
12 business there, I was there just as a friend, and they
13 were there waiting for Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic.
14 Since they were all my good acquaintances and fellow
15 citizens and Dr. Muhamed was a friend among them and
16 Muazem Gerim's daughter was a school friend with my
17 daughter and they were best friends, I did not want to
18 leave them alone, and I stayed there with them all
19 night until 5.00 the next morning when Santic and
20 Skopljak arrived, even though I could have gone home,
21 but out of solidarity, I stayed with them. I brought
22 them cigarettes, I brought them coffee, and I spent the
23 whole night with them.
24 In the morning -- apparently they were not
25 able to make it sooner because they had meetings with
1 international representatives and some military
2 personnel -- eventually, Santic and Skopljak arrived,
3 and I went home to sleep, and I was not present at this
4 meeting between the two Croatian officials and the
5 Muslim prominent citizens.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cilic. I would now like to go
7 on to the next document.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 339.
9 MR. TERRIER:
10 Q. Mr. Cilic, do you recall this joint statement
11 signed here by Mr. Ivan Santic, a representative of the
12 Croatian community, and Dr. Mujezinovic, a
13 representative of the Muslim community?
14 A. I recall it, yes.
15 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic indicated under what
16 conditions he was led to sign this joint statement on
17 the 20th of April, 1993, while he had been detained
18 since the night before. I would like to call your
19 attention, Mr. Cilic, to paragraph 4 of this joint
20 statement. In paragraph 4, Mr. Cilic, it is stated
21 that the Vance-Owen Plan should be implemented in Vitez
22 and in Province 10 even before it is signed by the
23 Serbian side. Is that not correct?
24 A. I have no objection to the text of this
25 statement, and I believe that it reflects the original
1 form in which it was drafted.
2 Q. Thank you. Now I have perhaps one last
3 question to ask you, Mr. Cilic. Do you not find that
4 in the chaos of this day in April 1993 in Central
5 Bosnia, that there is not a logical sense when we note
6 that stated and constituted on the basis of an ideology
7 of ethnic partitioning and that an opportunity
8 presented itself during the negotiations in Geneva at
9 the end of 1992 for this state to be able to claim
10 guarantees for territory, and that the ultimatum I just
11 talked about, that you yourself said you did not know
12 the existence of, in which there were threats made to
13 take by force this territory discussed in Geneva, if,
14 by the 15th of April, they had not withdrawn their
15 forces, and that in the month of April in 1993, and I
16 am referring to a statement that was made here by
17 Colonel Watters, who was the first, I believe, to
18 testify for the Prosecution, he stated on this day in
19 April there was a window of opportunity for the HVO,
20 and he stated that the Muslim forces were occupied on
21 the one front with the Serbs and also given the fact
22 that the international media was occupied in Tuzla and
23 therefore were not in the area and therefore knew
24 nothing about what was happening in that area, both on
25 television and on the ground.
1 Do you not believe that given all these
2 elements, that this chaos basically has a very clear
3 sense, which is the action carried out by the HVO to
4 guarantee itself an ethnically pure territory?
5 A. I believe that this statement absolutely does
6 not reflect those tenets. Knowing Ivica Santic as much
7 as I do, he had problems with Croats because of his
8 tolerance which he showed after tolerance became
9 impossible, as well as Pero Skopljak, who always tended
10 to -- always was leaning towards talks rather than a
11 confrontation. I cannot believe that this statement
12 reflects their views. Also, they were not of the level
13 where they were able to implement these political
15 I think this reflects Ivo Santic's desire to
16 keep peace in the area. He could be defined as a
17 utopian type because he was trying to create an oasis
18 of peace there, even though it was very clear to
19 everyone that Bosnia could not be turned into an oasis
20 of peace.
21 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. Cilic. I
22 request that the following documents be submitted,
23 documents 332 to 339, be tendered as evidence.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: I see no objection. Counsel
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Your Honours, I object
2 to the admission of Exhibit number 333, which is the
3 Reuters report, which has not been authenticated at
4 all, and we do not know whether it is admissible.
5 Also, the witness did not recognise the contents of
6 this exhibit.
7 In addition, I believe it is the Exhibit 334,
8 but let me tell you what it is, at 600 hours, so this
9 is the report sent by the Jure Francetic Brigade.
10 Perhaps the gentleman from the registry may assist me
11 in confirming that I have written down the right
12 exhibit number?
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, 334, yes. Why do you
14 object to the admission of 334?
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Again, the witness did
16 not recognise the contents of this document. He said
17 that he was not familiar with this document, he knew
18 nothing of its contents, and the end of the document
19 was not authenticated. Thank you.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: The two documents will be
21 admitted into evidence, but it will be, of course, for
22 the Court to decide on the weight to be attached to
23 them, and including, of the course, the Reuters
24 report. It's just a press report, and we will duly
25 take that into account. So, therefore, they are all
1 admitted into evidence, but I would like also to ask
2 the Prosecutor whether he has made up his mind about
3 the exhibits tendered by Defence counsel, D35/2, D40/2,
4 41/2, 42/2.
5 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, in regards to
6 these documents, we have no explanation with regards to
7 the actual sequencing of numbers, and we hope that the
8 witness will be able to give us an explanation about
9 the way in which these numbers were assigned. However,
10 that was not the case. It seems that the content
11 itself of these documents are absolutely in
12 contradiction with what we have learned about that
13 situation through testimony received by this Tribunal
14 from British officers who were posted in Vitez.
15 Consequently, it seems that given this
16 failure to explain this inconsistency, and given the
17 date on which this document was submitted, we request
18 that this Tribunal allow me to reserve my answer until
19 other witnesses can give us other information.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: We decided to admit into
21 evidence these four documents, and again, it will be
22 for the Court to decide on their probative value. So
23 they are admitted into evidence.
24 We may now move on to the re-examination of
25 this witness. If you agree, I intend to make a break
1 at 12.15. So you have half an hour. We have a
2 15-minute break and resume at half past twelve.
3 Mr. Pavkovic?
4 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I have a
5 request. I request that you allow additional
6 examination of the witness by the counsel which had not
7 originally cross-examined him, because in the
8 cross-examination certain issues were raised that they
9 would like to address.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: I'm sorry, we can't admit
11 that. The witness may be re-examined by those Defence
12 counsel who proceeded to the examination-in-chief.
13 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: So Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
15 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: These exhibits have
17 been admitted. I'm referring to documents 41 -- they
18 have been admitted into evidence. However, you raised
19 the question during the examination-in-chief, and I
20 would now like to ask the witness about it, because I
21 subsequently noticed some differences in these
22 documents. So could we show these two documents to the
23 witness, D40/2 and D41/2. These documents, could they
24 be shown to the witness, please?
25 Q. Will you look how these documents were
1 marked. On one hand, document 40/2 carries a number,
2 strictly confidential number. So there is an
3 indication. On the other side is number 02-125/9.
4 You said that you can't explain how these
5 numbers are formed. However, my question is: Is this
6 strictly confidential number entered in one register
7 and the regular number in another register?
8 A. Certainly that must be the case. I know that
9 for sure, but I don't know anything else about the
11 Q. Is that perhaps the reason why there is a
12 difference between the numbers that President Cassese
13 noted in the examination-in-chief?
14 A. Probably that is the reason. That appears to
15 be clear to me too now.
16 Q. May I also ask you, I have examined these
17 documents of the Vitez Brigade. Do you perhaps recall
18 whether this first indication you have in both the
19 numbers, does the first number refer to a certain
20 person? For example, the commander would be 1 and then
21 the lower ranks would have higher numbers? Do you know
22 this or not?
23 A. I'm not sure, but I have been thinking about
24 this. It could be the case but I cannot assert that.
25 Perhaps if I had several reports and could compare a
1 number of them I might be able to conclude something
2 about the numbering, but I'm not quite sure.
3 Q. Another question, that is the difference --
4 it was an objection on the part of the Prosecution.
5 Could you explain, does the Vitez Brigade have a
6 separate system of numbers and the Operative Zone
7 command another set of numbers used by the commands of
8 the Operative Zone?
9 A. Could you please repeat that question? I
10 didn't quite follow.
11 Q. Are there two separate systems of numbering,
12 one set being used by the Vitez Brigade and another set
13 by the command of the Operation Zone and
14 Colonel Blaskic, or do they use the same numbers?
15 A. As far as I know, the Vitez Brigade had its
16 own register.
17 Q. So it is not possible to compare the sequence
18 of dates, nor the sequence of numbers, because each
19 used a separate system of numbering and entering
20 documents into the logbook?
21 A. We had a brigade secretary who had two books,
22 or logbooks, or registers in which only the Vitez
23 Brigade documents were registered. Then there was a
24 book in which we registered incoming documents but not
25 outgoing documents.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you. Could the Prosecution
2 Exhibit 335 be shown to the witness again, please?
3 Paragraph 3 saying that in the period from
4 the 16th of April until the 28th of April a total of
5 498 conscripts were mobilised, who were actively
6 included in the HVO units. Most of the conscripts
7 mobilised from the beginning of the outbreak of the
8 conflict were directly sent to the front defence
9 lines. The same being used as replacements after the
10 response to the first blow, which means that they are
11 gradually included as replacements for soldiers
12 belonging to the mobile units.
13 Can you please look at this list once again
14 and tell us, in view of the fact that this mentioned
15 from the 16th to the 28th of April, who among these
16 people were mobilised on the 17th of April?
17 A. I do not have any such information in my
18 mind, and I cannot conclude from this list.
19 Q. As for the other dates, the 20th, 21st
20 through until the 28th of April, was anyone mobilised
21 on those dates according to this list? Can you see
22 that from this list?
23 A. My answer is the same as to your previous
24 question; I don't know.
25 Q. In view of the fact that this mobilisation
1 occurred in the period from the 16th until the 28th of
2 April, is it visible from this list how this
3 mobilisation actually took place? Are you thinking of
4 who was mobilised on what date?
5 A. No. That cannot be seen from this list.
6 That is why in my response to the Prosecutor I said
7 that they were mobilised until the 28th, but when
8 exactly cannot be concluded from this document.
9 Q. Tell us, in view of the fact that you were in
10 the command of the Vitez Brigade, do you know how the
11 mobilisation was carried out? Would a person mobilise
12 people carrying lists, were summonses handed in or was
13 it simply done on the spot with people being called in
14 as replacements?
15 A. In such a chaotic situation, there was no
16 question of the formal type of mobilisation. What we
17 did was to recruit as many people as possible as
18 quickly as possible, even untrained people without
19 uniforms, without asking whether anyone was sick or
20 not, simply to ask them to come to the frontlines
21 because the situation was critical for Vitez
23 Q. Do you know whether there was any list at all
24 of the reservists that would be updated on a daily
25 basis so that people would know who was where, who was
1 doing what and so on?
2 A. No. There were no such lists, nor did we
3 have such an administration that could keep all these
4 records and update them daily. All the necessary
5 institutions had not been established, and when I say
6 that, I mean the administration of the brigade too was
8 Q. Does that mean that it was not possible to
9 establish who was mobilised on which day as there were
10 no lists, there were no official call-up papers, there
11 were no public mobilisation proclamations as far as you
12 know? Were there any?
13 A. I think there was no public mobilisation
14 announcement in those days still, but nor did we know
15 exactly -- I assume -- of course I'm not quite sure,
16 but I think it was -- these lists were compiled on the
17 basis of reports of commanders from the front. People
18 hid. Everybody tried to dodge recruitment. Most
19 people didn't want the war. Most people were afraid.
20 The vast majority had never experienced war, and the
21 structure was not such that everything could be legally
22 carried out and in a proper way.
23 Q. In the examination-in-chief, when asked
24 whether you knew whether Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic had
25 been mobilised by the 16th, you said that they had
2 A. (No audible response)
3 Q. Do you know how and when they were mobilised
4 later on?
5 A. I don't know exactly.
6 Q. Will you please look at the Prosecution
7 Exhibit 337 once again?
8 This document was compiled by Stipo Krizanac,
9 head of the Defence Department. It doesn't carry a
10 date, but clearly it was in 1994, because on page 1 he
11 mentioned the date in 1994. What do you think?
12 A. Yes. This is the end of the war. There were
13 some more incidents after that, but this was the end of
14 the Croatian-Muslim war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. I have examined the dates of deaths, but on
16 the 16th -- but I haven't come across the date the 16th
17 of April. Is it possible that not a single member of
18 the HVO was killed on the 16th of April?
19 A. It is not possible.
20 Q. Does that mean that this list is not
21 absolutely accurate?
22 A. Certainly not, because on the 16th of April,
23 members of other units from Vitez municipality may have
24 been killed, people who are not from Vitez.
25 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I have studied
1 this document. I have an advantage over Mrs. Glumac
2 because I had more time to study it. I'm just saying,
3 to avoid the debate taking an undesirable course,
4 regarding the 16th of April there are names 333, 319
5 and 380, and two of them are said to have died at Stari
6 Vitez and the third at Poculica. So that was the
7 question of the Defence, "Were any victims in Ahmici
8 recorded on the 16th of April?"
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I'm sorry, could you
10 give me the numbers once again? I'm not sure I got
11 them right.
12 MR. TERRIER: Yes. 363, Kristo Stipo Anto
13 and the date given is the 16th of April, 1993 in
14 Poculica. 379, a bit lower down, and 380, two persons
15 who died, again on the 16th of April, in Stari Vitez.
16 I may have forgotten others, but these are
17 the only ones I've found for this date the 16th of
18 April, and may counsel correct me if I'm wrong.
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I thank the Prosecutor
20 counsel for this additional explanation. Yes, these
21 are some things that -- these are numbers that I didn't
22 notice in the text, and it is very useful for me to
23 know this.
24 Q. Tell me, Dragica Prkacin, born in 1934, she
25 figure under the number 380. Was she a member of the
2 A. It is obvious that the lady was 59 years old
3 at the time. It is a poor family. Her son Vlado was a
4 handicapped person in a wheelchair.
5 Q. Her son Vlado is the person figuring under
6 379, Prkacin Vlado, mother's name Dragica, born in
7 1955; isn't that so?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And he was disabled?
10 A. Yes, he was in a wheelchair. His body was
11 found, and his mother's body, in spite of many attempts
12 by her other son, who was alive, never found the body.
13 The hut they lived in was set on fire, and it is
14 assumed that her body burned together with the house,
15 the hut.
16 Q. Was that hut in the area of Stari Vitez?
17 A. The hut was in a part of Stari Vitez known as
18 Mahala and which was under the control of the BH army.
19 Q. The forces of the BH army remained in that
20 part of the town that is in Mahala?
21 A. Yes, until the end of the war.
22 Q. You have given us some additional information
23 now. Is the exact date of his death known, or is it
24 just assumed that it happened in the first days of the
1 A. It is assumed that it was on the 16th, but it
2 could have easily been the 17th.
3 Q. I don't think the Prosecutor has denied what
4 I am saying. There is only one name that I am not sure
5 that he was a soldier or not. In Poculica, as far as I
6 know, the Vitez Brigade was not there at all on the
7 16th of April, and then these other two are civilians.
8 So we have no further information about any person who
9 was killed on the 16th of April.
10 A. Anto Kristo from Poculica was also a
11 civilian, and also from the year of his birth we can
12 see that he was over 60.
13 Q. So according to you, is this list correct, as
14 regards the date of the demise of the persons listed?
15 A. This list in principle can be said to carry
16 the correct dates, but, as I have already emphasised,
17 in view of the situation that prevailed at the time
18 these documents were made, it was impossible to claim
19 emphatically that each of these dates was correct.
20 However, there can't be major differences, and most of
21 this data can be treated as being credible.
22 Q. In the cross-examination, you said that the
23 persons that disappeared at Kuber did not disappear on
24 the 18th, that went missing. We also come across
25 information that these were not HVO members but
1 civilians, so that is why I am asking you how valuable
2 this list is, how correct is the information in these
3 lists for us to be able to rely on them?
4 A. I claim categorically that maybe several
5 dozen names are missing from this list because there
6 were many displaced persons in Vitez, and one can come
7 across names of Muslim inhabitants here, but in
8 principle, this data in most cases, in my judgment, is
9 correct, because in the first few days, the number of
10 dead was not so high that they couldn't be registered.
11 Later on, these numbers increased daily, and then the
12 possibility of error increased too.
13 Q. Please look at the last page, page number
14 10. There is a group of children there, born in '85,
15 '83, '75. These are numbers 512, 513, 514, 519, 520,
16 523, 524, 525. These are children. Were these
17 children HVO members?
18 A. This tragedy or misfortune occurred on the
19 10th of June, 1993, and to my great misfortune, ten
20 days after the shell fell and hit children playing, I
21 was on the spot because it is only some 300 or 350
22 metres away from our command, a camera arrived very
23 quickly, and this camera, video camera, recorded the
24 most terrible pictures that I have ever seen in my
25 life. Unfortunately, I saw this with my own eyes. And
1 I saw mothers collecting pieces of the bodies of their
2 children, and some body parts were, in fact, hanging on
3 the surrounding trees. This is a picture and a
4 videotape that TV stations based in Bila, where the
5 British battalion was based, would not accept. The
6 journalists literally told us that they cannot
7 broadcast such images to their citizens, and that that
8 was the only reason why they did not wish to take this
9 videotape from us and broadcast it.
10 Q. Where did this shell fall? I am asking you
11 whether it was close to the frontline or was it in the
12 civilian part of Vitez where only citizens were at the
14 A. The shell fell in a suburb called Kamenjace,
15 and apart from civilian homes, within a radius of 400
16 metres, there can be no military targets, no soldiers,
17 no facilities of any kind except family homes and
18 gardens and a small improvised playground with a basket
19 for basketball where the children were, in fact,
20 playing basketball.
21 Q. My question, in fact, was whether the
22 children who were killed were members of the HVO
23 because of the heading that this list carries?
24 A. It is written by hand here that a certain
25 number of civilians were included, and judging by the
1 dates of birth of these children, it is obvious. The
2 oldest among them was 10 or 12. I can't see it now
3 here on this list.
4 Q. So obviously this is not a list of HVO
5 members killed, but included are a large number of
6 civilians as well; isn't that so?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You spoke about your relationship with
9 Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic, Midhat Varupa, and some other
10 inhabitants of Vitez who left that area. Some of them
11 were killed in the conflict.
12 Tell me, what was your attitude towards
13 Muslims, very briefly, and in those days, particularly
14 at the beginning of the conflict, did you assist anyone
15 and how and what your reaction was to this situation in
17 A. It may be embarrassing for me to speak about
18 some of the humane gestures I made, but at your
19 request, I will tell you.
20 Of course, I assisted, I would say many
21 people. I would even say that, fortunately, I was not
22 the only good man around, to put it in those words. At
23 the beginning of that conflict, I think one can talk of
24 hundreds of Croats who, in that situation, assisted the
25 Muslims because they were in a position to do so.
1 In my house, in my apartment, which is
2 literally on the line of separation, throughout the
3 war, we didn't have a single window frame, the
4 furniture was riddled with dozens of sniper bullets and
5 other bullets and shrapnel. It was inhabited by my
6 wife and my daughter who was under age. But our
7 neighbour two floors above us, a Muslim, would spend
8 several nights there because she felt safer with my
9 wife because for her the fact that my wife's husband
10 was a member of the HVO meant security.
11 In the most critical days, at the beginning,
12 this Muslim woman's two sons, I can give you the
13 surname of that family, Jelaskovic, they were the same
14 age as my daughters. They grew up with my daughters
15 and went to the same schools as my daughters. And my
16 wife hid both of them when it was critical, one in a
17 cupboard and the other one in the bed. She tied a
18 scarf around his head. Because he still wasn't
19 shaving, he could get away with pretending to be a
20 girl. And when the worst was over some ten or fifteen
21 days later, they crossed over into Muslim territory.
22 They are alive and well, and they often call us up, me
23 and my daughters and wife.
24 There are other examples. I would take
25 medicines to the detainees in the cinema and even
1 cigarettes to one of them who was not a friend even.
2 He asked me to try and provide his wife and children
3 with food because they had nothing in the apartment and
4 in their own house, they had a house and an apartment,
5 there was plenty of food. So with the official driver
6 of the brigade and the wife of this Muslim, his surname
7 is Seaganovic, his nickname Zeko, I don't know his
8 first name because he was not a close friend, we went
9 to his house and took flour, oil, and sugar to his
11 And I emphasise, I do not wish to boast, but
12 there were tens and hundreds of such examples of human
13 beings helping other human beings, even in those very
14 difficult circumstances.
15 Q. You just mentioned a woman whose sons hid in
16 your house on the 16th and who stayed on in hiding in
17 your apartment. What was her name?
18 A. Her name is Zumra Jelaskovic.
19 Q. You were answering questions by the
20 Prosecutor about Muhamed Mujezinovic. Do you know
21 whether Mario Cerkez gave guarantees to Muhamed
22 Mujezinovic and his family after his release from the
23 cinema, that they were given assurances or guarantees
24 that they would not be attacked?
25 A. The security of the brigade, security
1 officers of the brigade, escorted Muhamed home, and a
2 number of soldiers were tasked to supervise Dr. Muhamed
3 Mujezinovic's home around the clock.
4 Q. The statement that was shown to you by the
5 Prosecutor and which alleges that a cessation of
6 hostilities was required and another attempt to be made
7 at coexistence was signed, on the one hand, by Ivica
8 Santic as president of the HVO government and, on the
9 other, by Muhamed Mujezinovic. What was Muhamed
10 Mujezinovic at the time? You spoke about this in the
12 A. Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic was president of the
13 war presidency in the part of Vitez under the control
14 of the Muslims.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you have many more
16 questions on this issue, because we should now take a
17 15-minute break? Is it convenient for you?
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes, yes, it is
19 convenient. I won't have many more, but I do have some
21 JUDGE CASSESE: A 15-minute break.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. Mr. Cilic, just several more questions
2 regarding the situation on the 16th, considering that
3 the Prosecutor asked you whether you knew what was
4 happening in Ahmici.
5 Did you have information about what was going
6 on in other places? In other words, what other
7 locations were places of conflict on that day?
8 A. It may sound strange, but I really had more
9 information from other locations in the Vitez
10 municipality. The war really engulfed the whole area,
11 as I stated to the Prosecutor, and the conflicts raged
12 at the area of Brdo. This is a feature that dominates
13 the Lasva Valley. In the village of Poculica the
14 Muslim army had attacked --
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Excuse me just one
16 moment. Could we get the Exhibit number 1, which is
17 the large map of the Lasva River Valley, so that this
18 witness could point to the places where the most
19 intense fighting happened on that day?
20 Q. Mr. Cilic, would you show to the Trial
21 Chamber the locations where the most intense conflicts
22 raged on 16th of April?
23 A. I don't know whether this map was put
24 together correctly, but let me try to orient myself
1 This is the road leading to Travnik. From
2 Vitez in that direction of Travnik. In this area of
3 the Vitez municipality there were no conflicts, that is
4 the area of Nova Bila. The area of Veliki, and Mali
5 Mosunj, and then the area of Zabilje. However,
6 somewhere between Zabilje and Sadovaca, that is where
7 this feature is called Brdo, which dominates the entire
8 area of the Lasva Valley. Sadovaca is a village which
9 is completely Muslim, whereas Zabilje is 100 per cent
10 Croatian, and Bila is predominantly Croatian and had a
11 small percentage of Muslims, whereas Veliki and Mali
12 were greater and lesser -- are predominantly Croatian.
13 These areas here are Croatian, and from
14 Sadovaca there is the village of Bukve and Preocica.
15 These defence lines of Jardol and Krcevine were
17 Q. And what is the ethnic composition of
19 A. Preocica is the largest local commune in the
20 Vitez municipality and over 90 per cent is Muslim, with
21 the exception of a small hamlet which before the war
22 was populated by Serbs.
23 Q. Can you tell me, what was the population size
24 so that we can assess the size of this village?
25 A. Preocica number over 3.000 inhabitants, and
1 with the refugees who were arriving, some estimates put
2 the number at 5.000.
3 Q. Were there -- on the 16th of April, did the
4 Croatian side conduct any war operations towards
6 A. Preocica is relatively far from the defence
7 lines and from Croatian villages, and it's much more
8 elevated. So it's much higher than where the positions
9 of the Croatian troops were. To my knowledge, there
10 were no operations in that direction, because for that
11 you needed guns and mortar support. You needed
12 120-millimetre guns. As far as I know, there were no
13 operations conducted towards Preocica on that day.
14 Q. What other places were caught up in
16 A. Around here there is a road going to Zenica,
17 and this is the village of Poculica, which is also
18 strategically important, in my view. And obviously in
19 the assessment view of the Bosnian army it is very
20 important because it is on the Veternica pass and it
21 borders the Zenica municipality.
22 Later on, from this position, there was fire
23 opened from tank towards Vitez. This area is
24 predominantly populated by Croats, and in one area
25 towards Prnjavor, this was populated by Muslims.
1 Croatian population from this area did not
2 have a connection, that is the physical connection. In
3 other words, Croat houses were not -- and their
4 properties were not contiguous. In other words, they
5 were an enclave surrounded by Muslims.
6 Q. So what happened in Poculica on the 16th?
7 A. Early in the morning but we only learned
8 about this in the evening of the 16th, the Muslim army
9 took all civilians prisoner and locked them up in some
10 houses, some barns and a little social club that they
11 had. Since we were on -- occupying a dominant feature,
12 we saw a number of plumes of smoke and houses on fire.
13 Later on we learned that a couple of Muslim soldiers,
14 either inebriated or maybe for some other reason, came
15 to a room where 30 or 40 Croats were kept locked and
16 shot through the door. As far as I know, about four
17 people died there and another seven or eight were
19 Q. You said that you saw houses on fire in
20 Poculica. Whose houses were they?
21 A. They were Croat houses, and they still stand
22 as a monument of the savagery at that time because no
23 Croat has ever gone back since.
24 Q. Where else was there fighting on the 16th?
25 A. These are the areas which are purely Muslim.
1 This is a Muslim village, a fairly large village, and
2 Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic, I may mention, was born there.
3 Q. What village is this?
4 A. It's called Vrhovine, and it is immediately
5 above the location where that crime took place. It
6 dominates Ahmici, Pirici and Santici and the road
7 leading to Busovaca from Vitez.
8 Q. What is the ethnic composition of Vrhovine
9 and was there any fighting there?
10 A. Vrhovine are exclusively Muslim, and on these
11 first days there were no combat operations.
12 Q. You mean on the part of Croats?
13 A. That is correct, on the part of Croats,
14 because here too you could only conduct any combat
15 operations with artillery support.
16 Q. Could you now point to Sivrino Selo?
17 A. Sivrino Selo is here. It is located between
18 the road connecting Vitez and Busovaca and the road
19 leading from Vitez to Zenica. And here is a road
20 connecting -- alongside the road there were some
21 Croatian houses, which in the first days of war, 16th
22 and 17th, were all burnt down and its inhabitants were
23 driven into the Vitez town.
24 Q. Did the HVO conduct any operations towards
25 Sivrino Selo on the 16th?
1 A. On the 16th there was no combat operations of
2 the HVO to the north of Vitez, except that there were
3 fierce fighting and defence around Jardol and Krcevine,
4 because the Muslim forces attacked from this direction,
5 probably believing that this would be the best place to
6 break through the defence lines and emerge on the road
7 leading to Travnik.
8 Q. How about Kruscica? Where is Kruscica
9 located and what is its ethnic composition? Their
10 Honours will not be able to see if you step over that
12 A. Kruscica is one of the largest local communes
13 in the Vitez municipality. It is this area here, and
14 it was very developed in the times of Austro-Hungary
15 because it is rich in woods. And this village was
16 urbanised. It had two motels and a hotel, it had its
17 own source of water. It was predominantly Muslim,
18 especially the part closer to the wood, whereas this
19 area closer to the town was populated more by Croats.
20 And this is actually where also the only municipal
21 cemetery, the Catholic cemetery, was located.
22 On the first day, the few Croats that were
23 there were in the part predominantly inhabited by
24 Muslims were driven out, a few of them fled. One could
25 flee through these woods here towards the town.
1 Throughout the day there were -- there was fighting
2 between Croatian units in the area of Rijeka, closer to
3 the town, and so the fighting was -- the attack came
4 towards the area populated by the Croats.
5 Q. Did Kruscica remain in Muslim hands until the
6 end of the war?
7 A. Yes. It remained in the Muslim hands until
8 the end of the war, and what I also want to point out
9 is that the original waterworks installation are
10 located, which provide much of the water supply to the
11 town of Vitez, which is why most -- most citizens of
12 the town of Vitez were without water for the most part
13 of the war. The water would be cut off, and then under
14 the pressure of the International Community would be
15 again given, and then we had a similar problem with the
16 power as well.
17 Q. But on the 16th all Croats had left
19 A. Except for those who were unaccounted for,
20 those who were detained, and as I said, some just fled
21 through the woods.
22 Q. How about Gacice?
23 A. The village of Gacice is very close to the
24 town centre, and it is populated -- I'm not sure -- I
25 believe it's about 50 per cent Croats and 50 per cent
1 Muslims. In the first three or four days there was no
2 shooting or no -- there was no violence there.
3 Q. Donja Veceriska?
4 A. Donja Veceriska also had a mixed population,
5 and in the beginning there was fierce fighting. There
6 were some Muslims houses set on fire but also some
7 Croat houses set on fire. One part of the village was
8 occupied by the Muslims and the other by Croats. There
9 was separation there, there was some violence on both
11 Q. What was the strategic position of Donja
12 Veceriska with respect to Vitezit and the SPS factory?
13 A. Yes, you can see it clearly. Donja Veceriska
14 is above the large Vitezit factory compound. It is
15 maybe -- its elevation is about 50 metres above that of
16 the factory. This is where the SPS facilities are.
17 And from Donja Veceriska you can throw a rock, as our
18 people would say, on the factory.
19 Q. So there was fierce fighting there. How
20 about Stari Vitez, the Old Vitez? In fact, Mahala.
21 A. This is the town centre. This is the soccer
22 field, which during the war was the line of
23 separation. Croats were on this side of the stadium
24 and Muslims on this side.
25 There was a row of garages here which were in
1 a neutral zone, and just beyond the garages is the
2 house where I lived and which I occupied before the
3 war, during the war and still occupy today.
4 This is the part of Old Vitez which is called
5 Mahala. There are no strict limits of it, people just
6 call it Stari Vitez or Old Vitez. Some call it
7 Mahala. I believe that the correct way is to call it
8 Stari Vitez and then part of it is maybe Mahala.
9 Q. On the 16th there was fierce fighting there,
10 and did Stari Vitez remain under the BH army control
11 until the end of the war?
12 A. On the first day there was fierce fighting
13 there, and I believe that you could infer from my own
14 statement that there were constantly problems over
15 Mahala and the Muslim efforts to create a bastion
16 there. They kept digging trenches there, whereas the
17 Croats asked, "Why are you digging trenches towards the
18 town?" But this was a problem that was with us
20 About 15 or 20 Croat families lived there,
21 and a few of them stayed there throughout the war. One
22 of them -- a part fled and a part was exchanged. Some
23 people fared relatively well, so to speak, because they
24 were protected by the Muslims, part of them very badly
25 because nobody protected them, and there were
2 A member of the HVO lived in Mahala with his
3 young wife. He was renting a place there. We learned
4 that several days into the fighting, his throat was
5 cut, literally. I believe his name was Miskovic, I'm
6 not certain, but his wife still lives there, and this
7 information can easily be verified.
8 Another one had bad luck, that he was with
9 his girlfriend when the conflict started and was
10 captured, obviously, by the Muslim forces.
11 Q. Thank you. I only have two more questions.
12 Could you please sit down again now?
13 In cross-examination, the Prosecutor showed
14 you a document which stated that the situation was calm
15 in Zenica on the 16th. What was your information about
16 the state of things on the 16th?
17 A. I'm glad that I can comment on that
18 document. I do not question the fact that there was
19 calm between the 15th and the 16th, but what type of
20 calm was there?
21 I also told you that it was quiet in Zenica
22 when I visited there, that there were MUP forces and
23 military. But what was the reason? And I don't know
24 what motivated the gentleman who drafted that
25 document. I told you honestly what I experienced in
1 Zenica. However, some other reports speak
2 differently. They would say that the 16th was not
3 quiet, at least not quiet for Croats. In the afternoon
4 and in the evening, some Croats managed to get across
5 from Zenica, and we learned what happened in Zenica on
6 that day. What was going on was arrest of the HVO
7 members in their homes, in the streets, there were
8 raids; and on these initial days of the conflict in the
9 Lasva Valley, there were some places which became
10 notorious for Croats: the music school and other
11 places, they were filled with HVO members, and then
12 with Croats from other areas in Zenica, which speaks to
13 the fact that over 10.000 Croats were driven from
14 Zenica. Zenica was one of the large centres, Croatian
15 centres, in Central Bosnia, not in terms of percentage
16 but in terms of the concentration of people.
17 Q. What is the distance between Vitez and
18 Zenica, across the Vjetrenice pass?
19 A. Using the road which I mentioned and which I
20 used the day before the conflict, that is, from the
21 intersection, not from the centre of Vitez town, so
22 from the highway to Busovaca, from that intersection to
23 the first suburbs of Zenica, it is 12 kilometres.
24 Q. Do you know how many Croats were detained in
25 Zenica on those initial days and detained in the music
1 school and the correctional centre?
2 A. I don't know the exact number, but I think it
3 is between 2.000 and 3.000.
4 Q. Another piece of information which you
5 provided concerning the village of Stranjani, which is
6 near Zenica, and you mentioned the ethnic cleansing had
7 started as early as the 16th and that people from that
8 area, which is a village, really, it is a suburb but
9 more like villages adjoining Zenica, that people
10 started arriving there as early as the 16th.
11 A. Yes. Not just from Stranjani but Cajdras and
12 some other villages which I now cannot now recall, but
13 those were the villages which were ethnically mostly
14 purely Croatian and were on the south side and were
15 facing the Lasva River Valley.
16 Q. One more thing. The Croats who were detained
17 in Zenica, that is, the HVO members and civilians, were
18 they exchanged and when?
19 A. This issue further complicated the relations
20 between the Croats and Muslims, which was complicated
21 enough, because the agreement on the exchange which was
22 mediated through the BRITBAT and the UNHCR was not
23 respected by the military authorities in Zenica and
24 they did not release Croat detainees. They only did so
1 Q. The persons mentioned by Dr. Mujezinovic in
2 the Blaskic case also includes Ivan Santic and Pero
3 Skopljak. Do you know what happened to them since they
4 had been accused of committing war crimes and one of
5 the charges was based on this statement by
6 Dr. Mujezinovic concerning the incidents which you also
7 testified to. Can you say, were they released?
8 A. Yes, they were detained here, but justice
9 prevailed like always and they came back home after
10 about 70 days of detention.
11 Q. One additional question. I believe there may
12 have been an error in the transcript. Did members of
13 HOS ever become members of the Vitez Brigade?
14 A. No, they never did.
15 Q. Which unit did they become members of, which
16 special purpose unit?
17 A. They all became members of the Vitezovi
18 special purpose unit.
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. Cilic, I thank
20 you. This concludes my re-examination.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I see counsel
22 Susak. Are you going to re-examine the witness?
23 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, there is a matter I
24 want to raise.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: No, I'm sorry. We rule that
1 only counsel who examined the witness in chief is
2 allowed to re-examine the witness, so that counsel who
3 cross-examined the witness are not allowed to
4 re-examine him.
5 Counsel Susak?
6 MR. SUSAK: Yes, Mr. President. That is just
7 what I wanted to say because I participated in the
8 examination-in-chief of this witness.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no, no. We regard your
10 participation in that examination as
11 cross-examination. This witness was called by Counsel
12 Slokovic-Glumac, so she was entitled to examine him in
13 chief, and he was cross-examined by other Defence
14 counsel, then cross-examined by the Prosecution, and so
15 we feel that only Defence counsel, as I said, who
16 examined him in chief is entitled to re-examination.
17 This is our ruling.
18 MR. SUSAK: Yes, Mr. President. But may I
19 just say that during the examination-in-chief, I did
20 not have access to all the documents that this witness
21 was examined about today in the cross-examination. But
22 if that is your ruling, of course, I will abide by it.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Counsel Par?
24 MR. PAR: Your Honour, with your permission,
25 may I put a question linked to this question of
1 re-examination? Of course, we will respect the ruling
2 of the Court, but we feel that this could lead to
3 certain problems; namely, today we saw that the
4 Prosecutor, in the course of his cross-examination,
5 presented some documents for the first time and
6 mentioned a particular accused by name. By such a
7 ruling, we are unable to refer back to that document or
8 that exhibit, and the Prosecutor, on the other hand,
9 will be given the chance to present certain evidence
10 which we will not be able to comment on. We feel that
11 the principle of equality of arms is thereby impaired.
12 Secondly, we have some common witnesses with
13 other Defence counsel, and in the interests of the
14 efficiency of the proceedings, we have agreed that each
15 one of us should not call witnesses as his own witness
16 but that, within the framework of the
17 examination-in-chief of one witness, one Defence
18 counsel examine him and then another Defence counsel
19 cross-examine him. As a result of this ruling, we
20 would be prevented from re-examining. Therefore, it is
21 my submission that strict observation of this rule
22 would put us in an unequal position.
23 So I am asking Your Honours whether it would
24 be possible for the future, in cases when the
25 Prosecutor, in the cross-examination, mentions any one
1 of the accused, that in those situations, the Defence
2 counsel of that accused be permitted to re-examine.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: No, the motion is not
5 granted. We stick to our ruling concerning
6 re-examination. However, we request the Prosecutor,
7 whenever he decides to disclose new documents, to use
8 new documents in court, to disclose them in advance.
9 As soon as you know the list of witnesses for the
10 following week, if you have any document that you
11 intend to use in court, you should disclose them to the
12 Defence counsel, so roughly a week, I mean, a few days
13 before the relevant witness is called, so that all
14 Defence counsel are in a position to prepare, and in
15 particular, the Defence counsel who is going to examine
16 the witness in chief.
17 All right. So for the time being, we are
18 through with -- yes, Mr. Terrier?
19 MR. TERRIER: Of course, we also will abide
20 by your ruling, only there is the question of delay. I
21 cannot accept that this be treated very strictly
22 because on the eve or a day before, a day or two
23 before, we may discover a document that we intend to
25 So what I would suggest is that we be obliged
1 to disclose before the testimony of the witness but not
2 necessarily so many days before; and even during the
3 examination-in-chief, it may appear that certain
4 documents are necessary for the cross-examination. If
5 we are required to respect a very strict period in
6 advance, it will be very difficult for us. But I would
7 suggest that we do disclose -- in any case before
8 referring to those documents in court, that we disclose
9 those documents to all the attorneys.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, of course. Let us say
11 as early as possible. If possible, a week in advance,
12 but in any event, before the examination-in-chief, and
13 in such a way to allow the Defence to review and study
14 the document well and prepare for the defence. So good
15 faith is required. Therefore, as soon as possible, as
16 early as possible.
17 If you have a document at the last minute --
18 because after the examination-in-chief, you suddenly
19 come across a document or one that you may have
20 forgotten -- then we will have to give a period of time
21 to the Defence. Then you will tell us that you have a
22 document that you intend to produce, and in that case,
23 we can postpone the testimony of the witness or find
24 another practical solution to allow the Defence to
25 prepare well on the basis of that document.
1 Are we agreed? Counsel Susak?
2 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, of course I will
3 fully observe your ruling, but in this particular case,
4 I really do think it is an exception, and in my
5 opinion, for justice to be served and in the interest
6 of fairness, I, in this case, should be allowed to
7 re-examine this witness in view of the documents that
8 were presented.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: No, I'm sorry. We have
10 already made a ruling. I don't see why you in
11 particular should then re-examine him and not the other
12 Defence counsel. Then all of them would be entitled,
13 the ones who were prepared to cross-examine him after
14 the examination-in-chief.
15 The ruling stands, and for the future, we
16 will see to it that the Prosecutor complies with the
17 other ruling concerning his duty to produce documents
18 in advance.
19 The Court has no questions for the witness.
20 Mr. Cilic, thank you so much indeed for coming here to
21 give evidence in court. You may now be released.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you too, Your Honours.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: We have a few minutes left to
25 discuss future sittings. Counsel Radovic asked that we
1 not sit on this case in the last week of February.
2 Now, let me say that we intend now to go on until the
3 29th of January, for January, so for the next two
4 weeks, starting on the 19th because on the 18th there
5 is a holiday, an official holiday of our Tribunal.
6 Then we will skip the first week of February
7 and resume on the 8th of February until the Friday, it
8 will be one week, from the 8th through to the 12th, and
9 then from the 15th up to the 17th, Wednesday. We must
10 stop on Wednesday, and so we are not sitting on the
11 18th, 19th, and 22nd.
12 We were wondering whether this would enable
13 you to go back to your country and prepare, fill in
14 your tax returns, because we would like to resume on
15 the 23rd or the 24th of February, so you would have a
16 few days back home where you could probably attend to
17 that particular problem, and then we would resume on
18 the 23rd or 24th, Tuesday or Wednesday, and sit on this
19 case until the 5th of March, 5th of March, and then we
20 must again skip one week, and then we would resume on
21 the 15th of March, up to a few days before Easter. We
22 were very much hoping that we would finish by Easter,
23 but I see that it is impossible. I don't think it is
25 I wonder whether then, Counsel Radovic, you
1 suggested that we should skip the last week of
2 February. Would you be prepared to accept that?
3 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, this is the
4 legal deadline for submitting tax returns. It doesn't
5 apply just to me but to all of us. So I think we will
6 come to an agreement, depending on our individual
7 considerations, and if we may, we will let you know on
8 our next working day. As far as I am concerned, this
9 would be satisfactory.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Because, as I said, you would
11 have the 18th, 19th of February and the 22nd, and,
12 really, if need be, also the 23rd. But we would prefer
13 to resume on Tuesday, the 23rd.
14 Could you be so kind as to let us know, maybe
15 on Tuesday, if this is agreeable?
16 One last question. We intend to call as a
17 witness, as a Court witness, the anthropologist or
18 sociologist who wrote a book which was provided to us by
19 the Prosecutor. I'm sorry, I don't remember her name.
20 I think a copy was also given to all Defence counsel, a
21 photocopy, of that book. So we would like to ask her
22 to come to give evidence in court, also because I
23 assume the book is about the particular village, the
24 particular village in question.
25 Could the Prosecution make preparations so
1 that at some point in time, that witness may be
3 Now, I wonder whether the -- I hope all the
4 Defence counsel have gone through that book so they are
5 familiar with that. All right.
6 If there are no outstanding matters, we will
7 adjourn now, and we will sit again on Tuesday at 9.00
8 sharp. The hearing is adjourned.
9 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
10 1.22 p.m., to be reconvened on
11 Tuesday, the 19th day of January,
12 1999, at 9.00 a.m.